Tag: Scottish Historical

Guest Review: The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia Corwall

Posted April 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia CorwallReviewer: Tracy
The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
Series: A Highland Fairy Tale #3
Also in this series: Beauty and the Highland Beast, When a Laird Finds a Lass
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Romance, Historical, Magic, Scottish, Fairy Tales & Folklore
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four-stars

Laire MacLeod’s father has married a mysterious widow who is a vain beauty that deals with potions and spells. Laire does not drink them with the rest of her family and is the only one who could see through her stepmother’s games. When Laire flees to find help from her Uncle the Lady’s huntsman follows her with orders to kill. Laire must survive in a dangerous new city and find the antidote to a poisonous potion before it is too late.

Iain Lindsay is cursed. He is bound for seven years to be the hunter of a Lady who uses him to bring back birds to use in her potions. When Laire MacLeod escapes the Lady’s nets, Iain tracks her to Edinburgh, where she’s found shelter with an unusual band of thieves, but he cannot bring himself to harm her. Instead, he finds himself falling in love with the MacLeod beauty.

But a Highlander’s oath is his bond, and the price for helping her is death, both his own, and of those he loves.

Laire MacLeod is frightened for her family.  She is one of 11 daughters – her father has been married 8 times.  Laire has loved all of the different women in her father’s life until he married Bibiana.  Laire knows that there is something strange going on with her.  Her sisters aren’t acting normal.  Her father is so entranced by Bibiana that he can literally not take his eyes off of her.  Laire decides that she needs to get away and seek help for her family before Bibiana does something horrible to them but Bibiana sends her huntsman after Laire.

Ian Lindsay, once a Laird in his own right, is bound to work for Bibiana for seven years.  That time is almost up and he wants desperately to get away from the witch, for that’s what she is, a witch.  When he is sent out to find Laire and bring back her heart he doesn’t want to do it.  He was attracted to Laire and doesn’t want to hurt her but he also knows there is no naysaying Bibiana.

Ian follows Laire to Edinburgh and plans to kill her but when he gets there he starts to see the potential of a real life and not one that involves Bibiana.  Laire is determined to find something that will stop Bibiana from hurting her family and she won’t let anyone stop her, no matter what it takes.

The Lady and the Highlander was a great book.  It was magic and fantasy blended so nicely with a Scottish highland romance.  The story was a take off of Snow White but I thought the way that Cornwall wrote the story was very original.  The “dwarves” weren’t dwarves at all and were actually child thieves.  I’m not sure what it was about the story that drew me in so quickly but I thought it was a charming story.  Yes, it was nutty as we didn’t really understand what Bibiana was doing to the people until later but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

Cornwall definitely has a gift for rewriting fairy tales.  I’ve enjoyed her interpretations of Beauty and the Beast as well as The Little Mermaid as well as this book.  I hope she continues writing the Highland Fairy Tale series because she’s writes them really well.

Rating: 4 out of 5  

four-stars

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Guest Review: My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch

Posted April 4, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: My One True Highlander by Suzanne EnochReviewer: Tracy
My One True Highlander by Suzanne Enoch
Series: No Ordinary Hero #2
Also in this series: Hero in the Highlands
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Historical, Scottish
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Rugged highlander Graeme has one thing on his mind—take a stand against the horrible Englishman Lattimer and he will be rewarded with enough money to be set for life. But when his reckless younger brothers take it one step too far and kidnaps a young woman on her way to see Lattimer, Graeme has to intervene. He cannot send the lady back without his kin getting in trouble. And when a damsel this beautiful is dropped into your lap, it’s hard to let her go...

Marjorie should be terrified she’s been captured by highland scoundrels, but it’s hard to live in terror when your captor is a devilishly handsome and sinfully tempting as Graeme is. She cannot stay by his side forever—no matter how her heart may pound at the thought—but Graeme seems to have other plans. This wicked highlander is out to seduce her and doesn’t plan to stop until she’s in his arms...forever...

Graeme, Viscount Maxton, is an impoverished Chieftan in the Maxwell clan.  He doesn’t see eye to eye with the Maxwell Laird but he stays out of his way and it works.  That is until the Laird comes to visit and basically tells Graeme that if he kills the Duke of Lattimer the Maxwell Laird would give him money and forgive the tithes that he’s late on.  Graeme is disgusted with the Laird but just shrugs it off.  He wants nothing to do with Dunncraigh and his issues with Lattimer.

Marjorie is headed to the highlands for her brother’s wedding.  He doesn’t know she’s coming but she decided to attend because A) She loves her brother and wants to meet his betrothed and B) London is frustrating the hell out of her.  She thought that now that she was a Duke’s sister (and not a ladies companion) and had money that she’d have it all but no one in London even acknowledges her being much less accepts her.  In fact people were nicer to her when she was a companion!  Once in the Highlands she stops with her companion and ends up getting kidnapped.

Graeme’s brothers, Brendan – 16, Dùghlas – 14 and Connell – 8, kidnapped Marjorie when they overheard her companion talking about how she’s the Duke of Lattimer’s sister.  Brendan gets the idea that they can ship her off as a bargaining tool to Dunncraigh and all will then be right with their world. Graeme, however, doesn’t see it that way, but he’s not sure what to do with the lass now that she’s there.  He eventually decides he needs to marry her but Marjorie aka Ree fights that.  Once she gets herself free she decides not to escape.  She doesn’t want anything bad to happen to the boys and she actually has kind of started to like Graeme.  Once she falls in love with him, however, she has to decide if she loves him more than she loves the dream she’s always had of being the belle of the ball in London.

This was a cute book.  Yes, it’s a story with a bit of Stockholm syndrome going on but I thought the way that Enoch wrote it all made it seem ok.  Also, let’s face it, this is a romance and fiction so…it is what it is. 😊

I loved the characters in this book.  Graeme was an honorable guy and despite the crazy thing his brothers did he was trying to make the best of it.  His parents had died and he had taken over the title, the lands, the cotters and the raising of his brothers when he was 20 years old and Connell was just 2 days old.  He’s had a lot of responsibility and has always done the right thing.  He was confused about his feelings for Marjorie at first but he soon embraced them and I loved that he did.  His brothers were cute – especially Connell.  He about made the whole book for me because he was so precocious. He also had a very large heart when it came to animals who needed a home. Loved. Him. Brendan was a typical surly teen and Dùghlas was just following along with his older brother.  They both ended up having a good side to them and I loved how they stood up for Marjorie in the end.

Overall it was a sweet romance and one I really enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen

Posted January 23, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon CullenReviewer: Tracy
Campbell's Redemption by Sharon Cullen
Series: Highland Pride series #3
Also in this series: Sutherland's Secret, MacLean's Passion
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Scottish
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four-stars

Like his ancestors, Iain Campbell, the Marquess of Kerr, swears loyalty to whichever government happens to be in power. Privately, however, he despises the British for the slaughter following the Battle of Culloden and finds himself playing a dangerous game of deception. When he defends a fellow Scot under cloak of darkness, Iain is wounded and must put his life in the hands of a mysterious healer. The prickly, bewitching woman saves him with her touch, though she denies Iain the pleasure of a smile from her sensuous lips—which only makes him want her all the more.

Cait Campbell has no fondness for the marquess and his political machinations. Now he makes a treacherous patient, since Cait is harboring Jacobite fugitives in her cellar. But with Iain confined to bed rest, Cait sees another side of the fierce warrior. How can she hate a man whose eyes sparkle in candlelight, a man whose voice stirs her soul? She soon discovers that he loves the Scottish people deeply—and, despite her painful intuitions, Cait is tempted to let Iain love her, too.

Cait is happy with her life.  She’s a healer living on the outskirts of Campbell land.  It’s been four years since her husband died and she’s doing well.  She heals both the Scottish people as well as the redcoats that come to her.  She doesn’t like helping them but she’s a healer so that’s what she does.  She also believes this will create goodwill between her and the soldiers and they’ll leave her alone.  When Iain Campbell brings the commander of his warriors to be healed she’s happy to help but she wants nothing to do with Iain.  Her husband, John, was Iain’s commander when he was alive and died by a bullet intended for Iain.  Cait can’t help but find Iain responsible for John’s death even though logically she knows he’s not.  Part of her solitude is harboring Scottish fugitives from the English.  She’s not willing to give that up for anyone.

Iain has felt guilty for John’s death and though he told John as he was dying that he would take care of Cait he hasn’t.  The guilt was too much for him to be around Cait but once he was back in her house he couldn’t keep himself away.  He has feelings for Cait but she’s not willing to make an affair with him public.  Unfortunately the redcoats Cait thought she was keeping away didn’t stay away and when she’s threatened Iain will stop at nothing to protect her.

Another great story in the Highland Pride series.  Iain Campbell, in previous books helped both MacLean and Sutherland but yet everyone thought he was an English sympathizer when the truth was he was a spy. Because I wasn’t totally sure of his loyalties going into the book I was cautious.  Cullen made me a lover of Iain very quickly as his care for Cait was so honest and real.

Cait was a stubborn woman from beginning to end.  She had lost everyone who she had ever loved and she wasn’t willing to get involved with Iain and take the risk of losing him.  Luckily Iain was persuasive with Cait and was able to make her believe his love for her.  I really loved the two of them together.  Individually they were strong characters but together they were a bit invincible.

There was a bit of intrigue in the story as well and I thought that was well done.  It was woven well into Cait and Iain’s story and made it that much better. The whole of the story was well worth reading and I very much enjoyed it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Posted December 30, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander series #4
Also in this series: The Highlander Takes a Bride
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Scottish
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three-half-stars

Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half-brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.

Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine herself tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love.

Murine Carmichael has seen a lot of death in the past few years.  Her brothers and her betrothed were killed then her mother died not long after that.  Her father then was ill and but had died just when she thought he was getting better.  Her half-brother, Montrose, picked her up and told her that he was now her guardian.  While Murine wasn’t thrilled with the idea she dealt with it.  She even managed to deal with it when Montrose gambled away her dower.  When Dougall Buchanan and his brothers show Montrose fine horses and he can’t pay for them he tries to bargain with them.  Dougall’s not interested.  Then Montrose gets desperate and offers his sister as payment – to use until he gets tired of her.  Dougall, his brothers and Murine are all shocked and disgusted at this suggestion.  Obviously Dougall refuses and leaves.

After hearing another suggestion by Montrose about offering her up to one of his neighbors for coin, Murine decides it’s time to get the hell out of dodge.  She knows that traveling alone is extremely dangerous but figures facing death is better than what Montrose has planned for her. She heads off on her pet bull, Henry, to try to reach one of her friends.  Not far from her brother’s house she runs into the Buchanan brothers.  They are nice enough to hide her from his brothers and agree to take her to her friend, their sister, Saidh. Along the road there are many perils and accidents that beset the group and mostly directed at Murine. During the course of the travel Dougall and Murine get close and lust ensues that soon turns to more.  Unfortunately with Montrose trailing the Buchanan’s and Murine will they be able to stay together?

This was a cute story.  I really liked a lot of the book and was pulling for Dougall and Murine throughout.  The camaraderie between the Buchanan brothers was another plus to this book as they were close but still had scuffles like most brothers do.

I really liked Dougall in this book.  He was stubborn and strong-willed but protective and kind as well.  He had morals and was a decent guy whose parents had raised him right.  Murine took a bit of getting used to.  She was kind of oblivious a lot of the time which annoyed me.  She didn’t seem the type to be oblivious so when it happened it was frustrating. Examples…she was running from her brother but when she was traveling and saw people in the woods, she never said anything? She thought she heard someone in the house she was in by herself but never mentions it to Dougall when he comes in right after?  There were so many things that she questioned to herself but never once said anything to Dougall or his brothers.  What the hell?  Why not? She was trying to get away from her brother but she sees random people or hears random things and shrugs it off? Uh, no, don’t believe it for a minute. In most Sands historicals the heroine always ends up doing some crazy things but this just takes the cake. Now, that being said she was strong when she needed to be.  She saved lives when there was a fire as she had saved Saidh’s life in a previous book.  She kept getting hit in the head and kept getting up.  She got shot by an arrow but took it like a trooper.  She was a good person for the most part, really.

Overall it was a good story that I had some issues with.  It certainly won’t stop me from reading more of Sands’ historical novels as their more on the fun/slapstick fun side and I like that about them.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood

Posted December 14, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily BlackwoodReviewer: Tracy
The Rebel of Clan Kincaid by Lily Blackwood
Series: Highland Warrior #2
Also in this series: The Beast of Clan Kincaid
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Scottish
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four-stars

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.

Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrong eldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?

Since childhood, Magnus has been led to believe he is the Laird Alwyn’s bastard, and raised to hate the Clan Kincaid. But when he learns he is without a doubt the son of the murdered Laird Kincaid, his life as he has always known it is shattered. Now, hiding his knowledge and his fury, he returns to Burnbryde Castle, awaiting the chance to strike against the man whose treachery robbed him of his legacy. His first act of rebellion: to steal a kiss from the redheaded beauty who’s betrothed to the Alwyn’s eldest son and heir.

Since her arrival at Burnbryde, Tara Iverach has been confined to a tower to guard her virtue before she marries. But after a surprise embrace with a lean, bare-chested Highlander who claims to be the Alwyn’s oldest son, she can’t contain her excitement over her good fate. Unfortunately, he is the wrong eldest son, and she is set to marry his cruel and lecherous half brother, Hugh. Can Magnus conquer his rivals and claim his Kincaid destiny before the woman who’s captured his heart becomes his sworn enemy’s bride?

Magnus has always believed – because his mother told him – that he was the bastard son of Laird Alwyn.  He’s spent his life trying to be a good warrior and get his father’s attention.  Then he found out that he is actually the son of the slain Laird Kincaid.  The Alwyn was instrumental in getting his parents killed and now he’s working with his Kincaid brother to take down the Alwyn.  Of course he’s doing this all while in the Alwyn home.

Tara has been in a convent since she was 15 years old and her parents died.  Her sister was sent off to court by their guardian and she gets letters from Arabel every once in a while.  One day at the convent her guardian and his two sons show up, tell Tara that Arabel is dead and take Tara away to marry Arabel’s betrothed.  Tara knows that she needs to get away because that’s not what she wants at all.  She ends up at the Alwyn keep however, and meets Magnus.  They are drawn to each other and when she finds out that he’s willing to help her escape she’s hesitant to trust him but does it despite her misgivings.  When she finds out that Magnus may not be as trustworthy as she thought Tara will have to take it upon herself to get away from the Alwyn’s for good.

This was a great addition to the Highland Warrior series.  I really liked book one in the series and this was no different.  Magnus was a great hero and I loved reading about him.  I felt so bad about the way he’d been treated his whole life.  Yes, things started to change for him but it was too little, too late as he’d already found out what a bastard the Alywn was.  He was completely enamored by Tara from the first meeting.  He wanted to do nothing but protect her from the eldest Alwyn son, Hugh, who was a toad.  Magnus was a good person – kind and honorable.  He’s damned sexy too. 🙂

Tara was definitely high-spirited in a really good way.  She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it.  She wasn’t one to sit around and left everyone else decide her fate and I liked that about her.  I thought that it was sad that her sister had died and that she couldn’t figure out what had happened to her.  She had the determination but no one was willing to give her the info she needed.  I did think that she jumped to conclusions with Magnus during the book but I appreciated that the author realizing that herself instead of trying to justify her distrust.

In the end a very good book.  I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book as I’m sure it will give us the story of the third – and still currently missing- brother.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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